Refugees and the UK labour market

About the seminar series
This public seminar series consists of two separate themes: 1) Refugees in the United Kingdom and 2) Urban Refugees. Speakers come from diverse backgrounds, including both practitioners and academics, to consolidate existing empirical and theoretical knowledge of the proposed themes.
1) Refugees in the United Kingdom
At the end of 2016, the United Kingdom hosted nearly 120,000 refugees from a range of countries. While the available literature on this population has been growing, many areas of refugees’ post-resettlement/asylum lives remain under-explored. This seminar series will offer insights into the ways in which refugees in the UK have adapted to their new lives, with a focus on understanding the lived experiences of their economic and socio-cultural integration – or lack thereof.
2) Urban Refugees
Currently, more than half of the world’s refugees live outside of designated refugee camps or settlements, surviving with varying degrees of independence and success, and often living under the radar of aid organisations. This seminar series will enable audiences to cultivate a better understanding of the day-to-day lives of ‘self-settled’ refugees around the world, particularly in the Global South.

About the speakers
Carlos Vargas-Silva is Research Director and Associate Professor at COMPAS, University of Oxford. He is also the Director of the DPhil in Migration Studies and a member of Kellogg College. Carlos is also co-founder and current Associate Editor of the journal Migration Studies. He was also one of the researchers that developed the Migration Observatory in 2010, and acted as Director of the Observatory in 2014 and 2017. His research focuses on the interaction of migration, including forced migration, with labour markets and public services in migrant sending and receiving countries. He is currently Principal Investigator for the Horizon 2020 REMINDER project about the implications of migration in Europe. In this project, he has explored issues related to the impacts of migrant inflows on the physical burden and injury risk of the local population and access to public services. Read more at:

Isabel Ruiz is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, where she is also Director of Studies in Economics at the Department for Continuing Education. Isabel is a Fellow of Kellogg College and an Associate Member of the Department of Economics, the Oxford Department of International Development and the Latin American Centre at the University. Isabel’s research focuses on the economics of migration with a particular interest on forced migration. She has published widely on this topic and is coordinator of the Economics of Forced Migration Project (ECONFORCED). Recent research projects include exploring the impacts of hosting refugees and refugee repatriation in the Great Lakes region of Africa with emphasis on the cases of Burundi and Tanzania. She has also been recently exploring the labour market outcomes of refugees in the United Kingdom as part of the Labour Market Integration of Refugees in the UK project financed by the Nuffield Foundation. Isabel has worked in projects with UNU-Wider, the Agence Française de Développement, and the World Bank. Read more at: